We've just finished our cipher code for the University Cipher Challenge,
and we must admit it has been great fun coding the cipher, and
scrambling things and twiddling bits. Hopefully our cipher is a lot of
fun to crack.
Once our code has been assessed by the other universities, we'll tell you how we did it (press release from last year here).
The team is named Napier's Bones, and aims to show that the legacy of John Napier lives on in Cyber space.
The universities taking part in the final are:
The ciphers must be:
where codes that are too difficult will get penalties, so we've design one that should be fun to crack.
The legacy of John Napier lives on in Computer Security, and now he could provide the foundation for privacy within the Information Age. It
was thus John Napier who first proposed that we can multiple two
numbers together (a, b), and by finding the finding the log of a and add
it to the log of b, we could then take the inverse log to find the
result. This change the face of calculations, where we could multiple
large numbers together, just by looking up a table for the log, and
adding the results, and again reverse through a look-up table. In the
days of high performance computing, it might seems a trivial thing, but,
at the time, it complete changed the whole of science.
a * b = Inverse Log ( Log (a) + Log (b))
The base of the log is important for the calculation. For our decimal system we use a base of 10, but for many natural operations we use a natural log base (e=2.718). This base is used in many naturally occurring changes, including with electrical currents and voltages. For example the changing of a capacitor follows an exponential growth, which is based on our natural logarithm base
Our team of highly skilled cipher crackers are (known as Napier's Bones):
It has been great fun creating the cipher, without complicated cryptography, so we are looking forward to cracking the ciphers from others.